Some of you may have seen a local news segment called “The Doctors” on KNBN21. This program is promoting the “Get Moving May” initiative as an effort to celebrate National Sports and Fitness Month. If you’ve spent the winter indoors there has never been a better time than now to get outside and get moving!
One of my recent posts cited several articles touting the benefits of exercise. If that was not enough to get you moving, here are a couple more:
The first features Gretchen Reynolds who writes a weekly column called “Phys Ed” for the New York Times. She just released a book called The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer. In it she describes not only the perils of sedentary living, but also the amazing benefits of minimal movement. Recent research has now shown “how little exercise you can do in order to get lots and lots of health benefits.”
In a recent interview with Ms. Reynolds about the book and what she learned while researching it conducted by Tara Parker-Pope, also of the NY Times, Ms. Reynolds states that “the science shows that if you just do anything, even stand in place 20 minutes, you will be healthier.” She goes on to say:
One of the biggest misconceptions is that exercise has to be hard, that exercise means marathon running or riding your bike for three hours or doing something really strenuous. That’s untrue and, I think, discourages a lot of people from exercising. If you walk, your body registers that as motion, and you get all sorts of physiological changes that result in better health. Gardening counts as exercise. What would be nice would be for people to identify with the whole idea of moving more as opposed to quote “exercise.”
If this article isn’t enough to get you up out of your chair, you can also hear an interview with Ms. Reynolds by Terry Gross which further describes “some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.” Check it out! Reynolds talks about her own sedentary lifestyle as a writer which keeps her in a chair for hours on end. She has learned that just standing up every 20 minutes makes a huge difference physiologically. According to Reynolds:
If you can stand up every 20 minutes — even if you do nothing else — you change how your body responds physiologically.
Studies have shown that frequent standing breaks significantly decrease your chances of getting diabetes, she says. If you can also walk around your office, you get even more benefits.
Pretty amazing stuff! So for those of you who have been wanting to take a Pilates or Yoga class but fear what you perceive as your own physical limitations, this shows that even if you show up and move in any way you can, you will benefit.
Dr. Travis Stork of “The Doctors” echoes these recommendations. He offers tips for making the most of “Get Moving May” including:
Just get on your feet. The more we can get people on their feet and walking, even just 10 minutes after every meal, burns 100 extra calories per day.
I don’t like the overemphasis on intensity. I want people to enjoy it. I want them to do it with their spouses, with their friends.
He also says its “the little changes” that matter. As I’ve often said getting started is the hardest part. It’s all about choices. Just make the decision to start and the rest will follow. And who can resist the seductive weather we’ve been having. It lures you outdoors. Memorial Day is upon us – official launch of the summer season. Get out and get moving. You’ll be glad you did.